Adams slams Government approach to National Planning Framework
Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has described the government’s refusal to allow a vote on placing the National Planning Framework (NPF) on a statutory footing as “disgraceful”.
Gerry Adams said:
“The NPF will determine the future shape of Louth and East Meath and of urban and rural Ireland in this state for the next 20 years. The recommendations it contains will be compulsory and yet the government has decided that the Oireachtas will not cast a single vote for them. This is intolerable.
“If the National Planning Framework is to be placed on a statutory basis, it must be discussed in the Oireachtas and TDs and Seanadóirí must have the opportunity to amend and vote on it.
“It is already generally accepted that there were significant failings in the last draft document, especially in the allocation of resources and planning for the future development of rural Ireland and the concentration on Dublin and urban areas to the detriment of rural Ireland. There was also a serious gap in the North-South dimension of the plan.
“This approach by the government flies in the face of transparency and accountability by denying Oireachtas members the opportunity to properly scrutinise the National Planning Framework.”
Gerry Adams added:
“By 2050, it is expected that the population of the island of Ireland will reach 10 million. That means we need an ambitious plan to ensure this expansion of the population occurs in a balanced way across the country. Dublin is already over congested and as a result there is a shortage of housing, unaffordable rents and severe traffic congestion. In addition, regional towns and cities and rural communities are not reaching their full potential.
“A National Planning Framework is needed that invests and develops our transport infrastructure to improve connections to all parts of the island, with the additional benefit of creating thousands of construction jobs. It needs to expand the motorway network and develop our rail infrastructure to allow citizens to commute more easily and to provide access to all corners of our island and to encourage businesses to locate around the country.
“This state has the second lowest level of infrastructure in the EU. The result is significant infrastructural gaps which act as barriers to balanced regional development, sustainable economic growth and social wellbeing.
“Rural Towns and Villages must also be supported. An infrastructure and service floor must be built under these communities to ensure that residents and returning emigrants have vibrant communities to live in.” ENDS
Note: The Planning and Development (Amendment) Bill 2016 section on the NPF clearly states that: 'The Government shall submit the draft of the revised or new National Planning Framework, together with the Environment Report and Appropriate Assessment Report for the approval of each house of the Oireachtas before it is published'.